In the summer of 2019, Roseville, a large clothing store located in the center of Moscow, Russia, was left without electricity for two weeks. Like any other store, it loses money when it does not sell, so a sudden power cut would have a damaging effect on the company.
Looking for a solution, the owners came across WATTS Battery — portable energy storage. They negotiated with Yuriy Vlasov, the founder of the startup, that they could use their module to substitute for the power loss. Even though WATTS Battery never offered modules for rent before, Vlasov saw it as an opportunity to test a new market.
“We evaluated their needs and estimated that one module would be enough for a 10-hour working day,” says Vlasov. “The whole situation was confusing to us but we were ready to help.”
According to the agreement between the two companies, every morning WATTS Battery brought one module to Roseville that allowed the store to function normally during the whole day. Every night the module was recharged. For two weeks, the whole store was powered by one WATTS Battery module.
This is how the system worked: WATTS Battery did not only give energy to individual objects (like a UPS for a computer), but it was connected to the distribution panel of the room and it isolated the incoming power supply. The module provided a power supply for the entire working cycle. Therefore, Roseville employees could have the lights turned on, use the sockets and an access system, including video surveillance.
It was a win-win situation. The client did not lose the revenue, and WATTS Battery discovered a new market. Because of the specific location (Roseville store is in the center of Moscow, in a historic building), there is no backup or emergency power supply system — you can’t put the generator on the street. Most business centers today have a backup power system but not the stores located in residential buildings. Therefore, those do not have the ability to generate revenue if there is a power cut.
In Moscow, like in many other cities, there is an electricity shutdown schedule. It happens from 2 to 4 times a year when there is routine maintenance and the power is cut off from 3 hours to 10 days in a row. There is nothing an entrepreneur can do about it. There are about 20 thousand enterprises located only within the Moscow center. All of them regularly suffer from power cuts. The owners have no options but to shut down the store and count their losses. As we know, the revenue your business generates per day is how much you lose in a day off. For any business these losses are significant.
Vlasov comments, “We found a market niche for ourselves and are now in the process of studying it. This niche is quite small — we cannot help a large store with food and refrigerators. Rather, we can help small office rooms, clothing stores, where there is no high electricity consumption. But there is definitely a demand for a solution like ours. We are now looking for customers who might be interested in the emergency power supply.”